Another bitcoin scam has cost a Victoria man $6,000.
Victoria police are asking the public to be vigilant after a man reported receiving a phone call with an automated message claiming he was the subject of federal charges.
The man said he was instructed to press one and was transferred to a fraudster impersonating a Service Canada employee. That person convinced the man that his social insurance number had been compromised and several bank accounts had been opened under his name and used in the commission of criminal offences such as drug trafficking. The man was told he had one hour to put money into a bitcoin account to protect his assets before the bank accounts were frozen.
To further convince the man of the fraud, he received several phone calls from a number appearing to be 250-995-7654, which is the Victoria Police Department’s non-emergency line. That caller pretended to be a Victoria police officer and corroborated the original story, encouraging the man to deposit the money into the bitcoin machine.
The victim deposited $6,000 into a bitcoin machine.
This crime follows a similar scam that occurred in August, when a woman was victimized by VicPD impersonators and lost $6,000 to the fraud.
Victoria police emphasize that no officer will demand cash to resolve an incident, nor request funds for transfer through bitcoin.
“If someone contacts you by telephone claiming to be from VicPD and asks you to pay money to resolve a social insurance number issue or ongoing criminal complaint, hang up,” VicPD says. “It’s a scam.”
If you receive a scam call but did not give away personal information or money, report the fraud attempt to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or going to antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
If you have given out personal information or money through one of these calls, contact your financial institution to stop all unauthorized payments and change your access information. Call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654 to report the incident.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.